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The Government Inspector

March 8, 2024 - March 9, 2024

University of North Carolina at Pembroke presents one of the greatest plays ever written and it’s FREE ADMISSION! 

Come to American Theatre of Actors to ignite your sense of possibility and witness Nikolai Gogol’s THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR (Aka Inspector General) directed by Jonathan Drahos. 


The dream-like scenes of the play, often mirroring each other, whirl in the endless vertigo of self-deception around the main character, Khlestakov (rendered in some English translations as Hlestakov), who personifies irresponsibility, light-mindedness, and absence of measure. “He is full of meaningless movement and meaningless fermentation incarnate, on a foundation of placidly ambitious inferiority” (D. S. Mirsky). The publication of the play led to a great outcry in the reactionary press. It took the personal intervention of Tsar Nicholas I to have the play staged, with Mikhail Shchepkin taking the role of the Mayor. Nicholas I was personally present at the play’s premiere on the stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 19, 1836, concluding that “there is nothing sinister in the comedy, as it is only a cheerful mockery of bad provincial officials.”

According to D. S. Mirsky, The Government Inspector “is not only supreme in character and dialogue – it is one of the few Russian plays constructed with unerring art from beginning to end. The great originality of its plan consisted in the absence of all love interest and of sympathetic characters. The latter feature was deeply resented by Gogol’s enemies, and as a satire the play gained immensely from it. There is not a wrong word or intonation from beginning to end, and the comic tension is of a quality that even Gogol did not always have at his beck and call.” In 2014, the play was ranked by The Telegraph as one of the 15 greatest ever written.

March, 2024


March 8, 2024
March 9, 2024
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